Friday, May 10, 2013

BR-Inspired Budget Necklace

So, after promising you photo tutorials of all my projects, I pulled out my camera and proceeded to take pictures of everything I was doing with fabric, paint, beads, paper, and whatnot. Through this process, I learned something very important about myself:


Luckily for me, there's this great thing called the internet, where everyone-and-his-mother has created a photo or video tutorial of anything you could ever want to try. Looking to connect two soup cans with string so you can stay in touch with your next-door neighbour? There's a tutorial for that! Want to turn your cat's hair into a sweater for your husband? There's a tutorial for that! Need to rebuild your car's engine using only old plumbing supplies and a roll of electrical tape? There's a tutorial for that!

Okay, I have no idea if these specific tutorials exist, but a Google search does tell me there are a LOT of tutorials out there. So I'm going to reword my promise. When I post pictures of my latest craft project, I'm also going to post a link to the best photo or video tutorial I can find of that craft. This way, you can be shown how it's done by someone who knows how to work a video camera, instead of watching an out-of-focus video of me covering something in fabric, swearing when I spill the glue, and walking off to yell at the dog halfway through the project. My life is not exactly tutorial-friendly.

Which brings us to this week's craft project.

For years I have been making my own costume jewellery. People seem to be hugely impressed by this. And when someone raves at the unbelievable news that I made this necklace or that pair of earrings all by myself, I smile modestly and thank them, and I let them think I did something amazing. But the shameful truth is that I did not actually do anything amazing at all. Wire-and-bead jewellery is about the easiest, simplest craft a person can do. Once you get the hang of fiddling with the small parts, you have yourself a skill that provides almost instant gratification. 

I recently came across a Banana Republic ad featuring this necklace:

Online, the materials used for this necklace were described as follows: “Base metal setting, goldtone hardware, acrylic stones.” In short, this is regular old costume jewellery made of base metal findings and plastic beads. The price tag: $55. Too rich for this cheapskate.

So off to my craft room I went and dug out some bits and pieces. This is the necklace I came up with:

Like I said, my photo skills could use a little work...

My necklace is made with base metal findings and glass and shell beads. It's not identical to the original, but I achieved a very similar look with what I had on hand, and the quality is comparable. My cost: $4.88. A savings of over $50, for about 30 minutes' work. If this doesn't convince you that beading is a worthwhile hobby, nothing will!

If you'd like to give jewellery-making a try, have a look at this video tutorial, which will show you everything you need to know to make your own beaded necklace:

Happy beading!


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Wow! That necklace looks great! Screw BR, screw 'em all, I say!

Glenda Brooks said...

I shy away from tutorials myself! I'm a terrible teacher and feel like I can't quite explain what I mean in words. So I like your style. Use a tutorial that has already been done! Also love your necklace and think it is very delicate. Well done girl!

Kelly Sheehy said...

Gorgeous! That's so clever! :)